We find our male Adventurers pre-occupied will all matter of banal trivialities: Hadari is out facilitating goodwill with the constabulary; Roscoe refuses to leave the booky confines of the city’s library; and Omzal continues to enjoy the half-eaten meals of other tavern patrons. But lo! dear reader, why tarry on the inactive men when there are exciting ladies about? We find our lady Adventurers elbow deep in the innards of the mysteriously felled merchant-woman.
Navaira, and Sezim begin their day, like phoenixes risen from the sweat-covered ashes of yesterday night’s high-speed chase: Sezim begins with a morning mead to combat her still throbbing head while Navaira reads over her neatly scribed runes of the wealthy lady’s death. Jaquil finds herself a seat beside them and the three begin to piece together what they know so far of this latest mishap.
They know that:
1. the lady was of a burgeoning middle-class (from her garb)
2. she was wearing a heavy pendant (from the marks on the back of her neck)
3. she was pushed out/fell from the window of a room commonly used for mob dealings
Jaquil supplements our dynamic druid duo’s knowledge of the city’s mob scene over breakfast. There are four syndicates she explains:
1. House Clansteel: largely halfelves and humans. They originated from ancient settlers of this region and are generally known to do the most classic of mob things—black market dealings and the like.
2. Family of Swords: an even mix of elves, humans, and halfelves, this syndicate is highly political. They are known to gain members by stealing the youth of high-power families and raising them to know only loyalty to the Family of Swords. They are led by Abbot Barthello. Their dealings and membership are highly codified. (These are Jaquil’s people).
3. The Red Fist: a bunch of misfit anarchists with no money and no love for Ironside. They want an independent Calrunia.
4. The Brotherhood: this mob is mainly comprised of halfelves. They are thugs, and gangsters, and muscle. (Brain remains to be seen.) They are strongly prejudice against humans and are known to take an herb blend that lends the users to visions.
Having received a surprisingly thorough education on Calrunian mob syndicates, our lady Adventurers decide that it would behoove them to better understand the dead wealthy lady. This way, they reason, they will be better able to guess the motives of her death and thus be closer to ascertaining the mob responsible.
Off they go then to the constabulary to inquire after the lady’s body. The body, they are informed, has been taken by the family that very morning. The family, they are told, will not be named for reasons of confidentiality. At this Sezim sets off to find a street urchin that might have seen a wealthy family come to retrieve a body. She finds a huddle of dirt muppets, who take food in exchange for the knowledge that no, they saw no such family come and go.
Sezim is deeply touched by these dirt muppets, dubbing them her ‘Pigeon Babies’ and vowing loudly to no one in particular that she will return to save them. Jaquil and Navaira decide that their collective time is better spent finding answers than crying over street urchins, they drag Sezim to Ironside Vanguard. At Ironside’s keep our Adventurers formally check-in on the status of their quest to find the sword, their run in with the Rothilium’s band of elves, and now the dead wealthy lady.
Ironside is unhappy to hear of the sword’s continued absence anad surprised by the depth of elven reach in the Undercity. He does however have useful news on the murder: a wealthy merchant by the name Talbot DocRunner just lost his daughter. He lives at the edge of the District of Coin. Also, Ironside adds, the sword—the one he’d really like them to find sooner rather than later, the one that maybe their time would be better sent hunting down rather than goose-chasing wealthy-lady-deaths, may have been taken by bandits in the northern mountains, or an envoy of Gad wizards. He smiles with impressive patience.
Jaquil and Sezim, both ready to be out the watchful gaze of old Copperback Military Position, grab Navaira and head to the District of Coin. They have an easy time located the blacked out windows of Talbot’s house. Moments before they ascend the steps to the house, Jaquil and Sezim ask Navaira to play the role of head investigator. The three decided on the road to pose as Ironside-appointed investigators on the case of the dead woman. They knock on the door and as is her way, Navaira promptly puts her foot into her mouth.
“WE’RE HERE FOR THE MURDER IN THE UNIVERSITY DISTRICT!” she exclaims as the mourning father opens the door. He’s giant and slumped with sadness already, but on hearing the word ‘murder’ he is confused and alarmed. The constabulary said Sophie was in a carriage accident around the corner of their house!
Intervening, Jaquil and Sezim quiet the man and inquire into the late-Sophie. Sophie was recently married to a tailor named Thomladar Eltorrez. They lived a few minutes from the house but didn’t visit much. Talbot wanted to regale the Adventurers with old tales of his only daughter but our three Adventurers are already out the door en route to Eltorrez’s Tailor Shop.
On the road they cook up their next cover: They’ll be in the market for a new cloak! Sezim rips off her cloak and throws it to street. They arrive only to find the windows to the shop blacked out and the ‘closed sign’ drawn. Navaira preposes covertly breaking in and immediately begins to limber up. Sezim suggests to her that they get lunch and let a professional handle it, thus Jaquil enters the house alone.
Jaquil, with the grace of a panther and the stealth of…also a panther, nibbly slips into the second story window and begins to poke around. She finds an altogether normal residence. There’s a room with fine cloths and dressforms, a bedroom with a chest of the couple’s earnings and meager belongings, and a kitchen with—what’s this?! There’s a man in this house! Jaquil dips into the tailor’s studio blessedly unseen. The man in the kitchen drinks heavily then lumbers into the bedroom where he falls dead to the floor. Jaquil checks his pulse, he is indeed dead. She suspects poison.
She returns outside to find Navaira watching the house for her return and Sezim carving, what appear to be, child sized bows and arrows. Jaquil explains the turn of events over lunch, Sezim laments being cloakless.